…Says Sanwo-Olu Better Qualified Than Other Candidates
…As APC Officially Flags Off Campaign In State
The Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday officially flagged off its campaign towards the 2019 general elections, with the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, urging voters in the State to massively support all the candidates of the party to ensure continuity of good governance.
Addressing scores of party members and leaders at the rally held at Skypower Ground in G.R.A, Ikeja, Governor Ambode said it was on record that only President Muhammadu Buhari showed concern about abandoned infrastructure in Lagos and was working on their renewal in conjunction with the State Government, saying it was time for residents to support the candidates of the party across all levels to consolidate on the gains so far recorded.
The Governor, who was at the rally with his wife, Bolanle, said the forthcoming elections would not be about religion or ethnicity, but basically about the need to return a government that had showed genuine care for the people, adding that it was clear that the President had walked the talk.
“At the national level, we have only one choice, the choice of continuity is what we want and we need continuity and consolidation. We need to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
“This election at the national level is not about religion neither is it about tribe. It is about those who have the poor at heart. You know at the national level, we are already doing TraderMoni, we are doing N-Power and we are already doing Employment Trust Fund, among other things.
“We know that we would be glad to have Muhammadu Buhari as the next President in this country; all the abandoned infrastructure that we have had in this State, it is only Muhammadu Buhari that has been propagating the renewal and so we are very conscious that we need to continue voting for the APC,” Governor Ambode said.
At the State level, the Governor said from 1999 till date, Lagos had continued to witness progressive growth, and there was need to support the candidates put forward by the APC to consolidate and further take the State to higher levels.
According to him, “The first question to ask is why we have been experiencing progressive growth in the last 20 years in Lagos and the answer is very simple – that is because I have had predecessors that have actually delivered on their promises starting from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to Babatunde Raji Fashola and to myself.
“It has been 20 years of progressive growth and it has been under one single party, APC. We have had an uninterrupted continuity of governance in the last 20 years and that is why you can corroborate that with other things that are happening with the development and growth of Lagos State.
“Now, what I seek from all of you is the continuous growth and continuity in this State and for us to continue in that governance spirit, that is why we have no other choice than the choice of our party. In this context of this country, our party – APC is the party to trust and also the party that we can rely on.”
He particularly urged voters to support the gubernatorial candidate of the party, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, saying they were more qualifies than the candidates put forward by other political parties in the State.
“The qualities of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, a former banker, former cabinet member are very strong and he is also very strong in public sector management. When you compare his qualities to the qualities of other candidates, he is very competent and he is very reliable and I have no doubt that we will have him as the next Governor of Lagos State.
“So, come February 16, we will vote President Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Osinbajo and come March 2, we will vote Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dr Obafemi Hamzat,” Governor Ambode said.
Also speaking, Sanwo-Olu commended APC members for their commitment to party, assuring that he would continue the policies of the present administration and also take Lagos to higher levels.
“I want to thank all of you for coming out today; we have a long way to go and God will bless all of us. We would continue with the continuity of my brother, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and we would take Lagos to a higher level,” Sanwo-Olu said.
At the rally, 65 other parties in the State also pitched tent with the candidates of the APC.
…Only Genuine Reconciliation Can Engender Victory, Compensation, Says Lagos Gov
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, and his Borno State counterpart, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, on Wednesday, continued their reconciliatory efforts to pacify aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Southwest over the outcome of the recent party primaries, with a call on aspirants from Lagos and Ogun States to unite and work for the party’s victory at all levels during the 2019 elections.
Governors Ambode and Shettima, who had earlier met with aggrieved aspirants in Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo States, said it was important for members of the party in the Southwest to accept the outcome of the primaries and the party’s supremacy in order to approach the general elections with a united front.
The two Governors, who are both members of the National Peace and Reconciliation Committee set up by the APC to pacify aggrieved party members in the Southwest, said those aggrieved should consider making the necessary sacrifice no matter how difficult it is, in the overall interest of the party.
Speaking at the meeting held at Lagos House, Marina, Governor Ambode said while it was gratifying that there was no issue in Lagos largely due to the personal sacrifice made, the same could not be said of Ogun, and thereby urged concerned party members to do the needful to ensure peace.
“More significantly, we can see from the reflection of those here and I can declare that we do not have any issue in Lagos State and that we are one family. But again that is not to say that there is no platform for reconciliation; we do not know whether there are some aspirants in the crowd who are aggrieved but we can say affirmatively as a party that we are one family in Lagos State.
“This is not, however, to create any prejudice to whatever is happening in Ogun State. Without the setting up of this Committee, it is very clear that things are not the same in Ogun State like we have in Lagos State and we do recognize that. That is why this Committee is more or less anxious to see whatever it is that we can use as ingredients in creating peace in Ogun State.
“Whatever happens in Ogun is a reflection of what is happening in the whole of the Southwest and we are ready to make sure that this our Committee brings everybody back into one family fold. So, we have come with open mind and even when closures have been made, the feelings and input here is what we are taking to Abuja tomorrow and also making sure that NWC (National Working Committee) get a very clear picture of how you feel and ultimately if there is a need to let the highest organ of the party intervene in a way that everything that is happening in Ogun State reflects what is happening in Lagos State, we would be very happy to do it and we are committed to making sure that every representation is taken to party headquarters for redress and whatever it is that can be done,” Governor Ambode said.
While emphasising the need for the party to forge a common ground to prosecute the next year’s elections, Governor Ambode encouraged aggrieved members to embrace genuine reconciliation, saying only such could bring about compensation at the end of the day when the party emerge victorious.
“This is a peace and reconciliation session and just like the Chairman (Shettima) has said, there is no clearer example of how peace can be attained than the steps that I have taken personally to make sure that the APC family is united in Lagos and you can just imagine if we are having the same reflection of what is happening in Ogun in Lagos, it would be totally unmanageable and so it takes a lot of sacrifice and selflessness for us to attain what we want and the ultimate which is to win the 2019 elections.
“It is when we win the election that we can create a larger platform to move away from reconciliation to compensation and I think that is the message that we have come to send here. If you are able to submit yourself to the overriding interest of the party, even where reconciliation cannot actually meet your innermost feeling, there is still a platform for compensation,” Governor Ambode said.
Also speaking, Shettima said the meeting in Lagos was the last for the Committee in the South West after similar meetings were held in Ekiti and Ibadan earlier in the week, saying that the recommendations and solutions gathered from the interaction with the aggrieved aspirants would be collated and sent to the National Working Committee for further actions.
He, however, reiterated his appeal to aggrieved aspirants to take a cue from Governor Ambode and forget the past and begin to galvanize support for the party to ensure total victory at the polls, assuring that everyone would be better for it at the end of the day.
Aside members of the Committee – Professor Modupe Adelabu (former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State), Bar Saida Sa’ad-Bugaje, others at the meeting are APC Governorship Candidate in Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; APC chairmen in Lagos and Ogun – Alhaji Tunde Balogun and Chief Derin Adebiyi; Senator Anthony Adefuye, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, Prince Biodun Ogunleye, Cardinal James Odumbaku, Hon Wasiu Eshinlokun, Chief Suraj Adekunbi, Chief Bode Mustapha, Mr. Patrick Ogunde, among others.